Monday, December 1, 2014


By Lynda Castonguay

The Latest Collections by Roberto Coin

Photos courtesy of Maison Birks (Click to enlarge)

It is by far one of my life’s greatest moments. Brought to me by Maison Birks, I met Roberto Coin. If that name does not ring any kind of bell, that’s okay - his principal status in the upper echelons of the luxury jewelry business position him with a particularly moneyed demographic. Typically I shut myself off to these brands because coveting something so completely out of reach is like shopping to no avail and that does not fare well for my tender shopping heart. But ever since being introduced to his aesthetic last year, it seems impossible to neglect his designs. Ignorance is not bliss in this case; it is missing out. And I would be remiss if I didn’t share with you my experiences with the Venetian born designer.

To preview his latest collections, Pois Moi and Black Jade, Maison Birks held a soiree for the designer and his interested parties. All the way from his home base in Vicenza, Italy, dapper in various shades of blue and in what I can only imagine to be luxurious Italian fabrics, Mr. Coin spent the evening intimately speaking with attendees about anything and everything and all things Roberto Coin.

Black Jade (Photo courtesy of Maison Birks)

In true Italian fashion, my hand was elegantly held and kissed hello and as if I were his largest buyer, Mr. Coin engaged in loyal and attentive conversation with me and Birks’ own Francis Guidon

I quickly observed that Mr. Coin is a modest and personable man. Even though this was a night to showcase his jewelry, you would be hard pressed to find him wanting to immediately talk about it. Difficult as it was to steer the conversation to his collections, steered I did.

The Pois Moi and Black Jade collections both take inspiration from the shape of the 1950’s television. Pois Moi is a masterstroke of femininity and virility. It is primarily made of 18k gold but sporadic sections of diamond pave are the added scintillation to an otherwise bashful collection. 

Pea sized concave dimples are methodically indented throughout the pieces in rows of one, two and four. They are less of a direct interpretation of an inspiration, and more of Mr. Coin being Mr. Coin - which is wickedly detailed - and what they do is reflect an interesting light and create depth to the slates of gold.

Pois Moi (Photo courtesy of Maison Birks)

Pois Moi (Photo courtesy of Maison Birks)

The sleek lines, rounded edges and the overall minimalism are a triumphant combination of old and new world. The reverse braille translates Mr. Coin’s message of time honoured craftsmanship and authenticity and tells the wearer a story of strong design and proud quality.

In an age where we can shape the perfect circle, square the perfect square and land the perfect rectangle, Roberto Coin’s inexact shapes in his Black Jade collection lead us back to a time when at best, a circle was still a square. 

The 100% certified natural jade is worked in irregular pebble shapes linked together for full necklaces and tier drop earrings. Pops of the culturally significant green jade add vibrancy and allure and the odd jewel is framed with minuscule diamonds for greater opulence.

Black Jade is a collection of exotic elegance. It is a beautiful wonderland of desirous stones and delicate rose gold and is more effeminate than Pois Moi. The juxtaposition of contemporary design with retro inspiration, Stone Age shapes and historically venerable stones give it a wild sense of prehistory.

Black Jade (Photo courtesy of Maison Birks)

Roberto Coin started out as a production company for other jewelry brands and has since grown into an unstoppable purveyor of luxury jewelry. With varied international customers with insatiable appetites, six hundred pieces a year are created under the brand. It is about being ahead of the buyer, their needs and their tastes. Pois Moi and Black Jade are just two of those intuitive collections.

No matter the design, no matter the approach, the inspiration, or the theme, every Roberto Coin piece is cut from the same cloth; Pois Moi and Black Jade are no different. While incomparable and singularly their own, it is evident that they are indubitably two sides of the same coin.

For your viewing pleasure, click below to watch Roberto Coin walk you through his Pois Moi collection:

For purchase, please see the official Roberto Coin boutique at Maison Birks:

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